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Title (English) 3x3 Eyes
Title (Japanese) Sazan aisu
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book cover

Fantasy Novel

Notes 4 OVAs
Classification -
Synopsis
Review In popular Japanese ghost stories, mitsume kozou (liter-
ally, three-eyed brat) was the name of a ghost with
superhuman powers. This myth was the basis for Yuzo
Takada's SAZAN EYES, a very popular manga series
which originally appeared in Japan's YOUNG magazine,
and is now available there as a reprint series. The first
two volumes are also available as a rather more
expensive American- translated series in approx. 10 slim
parts. The videos are a fairly faithful, if rather condensed
adaptation of the first 18 chapters of the 3x3 EYES (aka
SAZAN EYES) manga.
3x3 EYES part I (Manga Video), 58 mins, cert 18,
10.99
Yakumo's father has been absent in Tibet for several
years, looking for the fabled "3 eyes" race. Yakumo
knocks over with his scooter a strange girl who, when he
takes her to the transvestite bar where he works, turns
out to have been looking for him with a letter from his
father. Yakumo is almost killed by Pai's pet monster bird
Takuhi, and to save his life she makes him into a 'Wu', an
indestructible being. Yakumo and Pai's lives are now
inextricably bound together. The first episode (first 5
chapters) continues with a trip to Hong Kong in search of
a three- faced statue which hopefully will turn Pai into a
human. The likeable characters and exciting storyline
make this one of the better pieces of recent anime,
though the animation isn't anything special. The Japanese
version is in 4x 30 minute episodes.
Having seen the Japanese
original, I was astonished to see "cert. PG" in advance
publicity material. Apparently somebody besides myself
realised this was a mistake, for a note later arrived saying
that "3x3 EYES has now been confirmed by the BBFC as
certificate 18, not certificate PG as previously stated."
Mutterings of controversy continue, but it was obvious
to me that this could never be a British PG! While 3x3
EYES is no UROTSUKI DOJI, it does have some rather
bloody and disturbing scenes of a kind not found in the
cert. 15 rated PROJECT A-KO and DOMINION. On the
other hand, the main characters in 3x3 EYES are of high
school age (Yakumo, the principal male character is 16,
and Pai looks about the same age) so in Japan it was
obviously expected that high school students would buy
the OVAs. Indeed, the script gives some interesting
insights into the lives of Japanese school students.
Pai has met Yakumo's father in Tibet, and after a four-
year search finds Yakumo in Tokyo. At moments of crisis
Pai's 300 year old San-ji-yan (3 eyes) personality takes
over and a mysterious third eye opens on her forehead
and she acquires various powers.
As for the Manga Video version, it is dubbed into
American in much the same style as the PROJECT A-KO
dub, and (invisibly to British buyers) the credits between
the OVAs have been deleted, along with a short
scene/credit sequence at the airport. Two different voices
have been used for Pai as herself and as San-ji-yan, the
former being very little- girlish. This makes Pai's dual
personality much more evident than in the original. The
voice of the frog-demon is so guttral as to be almost
unintelligible. The plot of the first half-hour is as
confusing as ever; and as that bit alone runs to ten
chapters (five books) in the Studio Proteus translated
manga, I can't explain it all here; you'd do better to track
down the manga and read that.
This is one of MV's better releases. A complex and
interesting series and well worth a look.
3x3 EYES Part Two, (Manga Video), 58 mins, cert 18,
10.99
The Japanese OVA series appeared as four half-hour
videos, though if you haven't seen them you won't be able
to spot the join in Part Two. At the end of Part 1,
Yakumo and Pai go off to Hong Kong in search of the
Ningen, a mysterious statue of Humanity which should
restore Yakumo to normal and turn Pai into an ordinary
human. As Part Two opens they are still trying, and
sinister and baffling events soon ensue.
Those who have seen Part 1 will already feel involved
with the principal characters. A new major character, Mai
Shin, appears in Part Two, and without giving too much
away, there are more nasty thrills and a few sentimental
moments, leading to a poignant climax. The animation is
quite attractive, with a few striking images, and the music
is good. Despite the annoying American dub and what
seems to be a rather free translation, this is easily the best
of September 1993's releases.
Credits
Episodes 4
Release UK:VHS, US:VHS, US:LD, US:DVD
TV Showing See the whole series for free? This series may be syndicated to regional cable, satellite or terrestial TV stations. For Europe click here.
Date 1991
Production Tabac, Toei
Broadcaster
Animation
References & Help Look up the latest data on this title at:
Richard Llewellyn's Animated Divots, or
Anime News Network (see Encyclopedia section) ,
or in "The Anime Encyclopedia" (Clements & McCarthy, Stone Bridge Press, 2001).
Help & further information.

 

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